There is exactly two years and one month, down to the very date, between my two children. I always wanted a small age gap between them as there is just a year and a half between myself and my sister and we had such a wonderful childhood. When we didn’t quite get the two under two that we had planned, I always joked that we were so close we would reap the benifits of two kids close in age but miss out on all the troubles you hear two under two brings with it. This might not have been entirely true all the time but things are pretty wonderful and hey if nothing else at least they have the same birth date, one less thing for me to forget!

One thing that nobody tells you when you have children close in age though, is just how hard it will be buying presents for them! It might seem like a silly insignificant thing but as I am constantly racked with Mum guilt especially in regards giving my daughter all the opportunities her older brother had as a baby, and it was weighing pretty heavy on me when I could not think of one single thing to give Faye for her first birthday. After many many MANY hours spent looking online and visiting toy shops (this is not as fun as you would expect with a toddler and baby and no intention of buying big brother a toy each visit) I was actually able to get Faye a really cool collection of gifts for her first birthday so thought I would share with you. As she has most of the standard baby toys as hand me downs from Aiden, this list is items that I found that were either something special just for her or toys that she would be able to play with her big brother with and both enjoy. Do you have siblings close in age? What did you get your youngest for their first birthday?

Lottie Dolls and Accessories (£9.99 – £21.99)

When I was a kid Barbie’s were so so popular, everyone had to have one or ten. I had a few but only some second-hand and older ones that were less sexualised/dressed in clothes my Mum had adjusted. I had no idea as a kid but my parents absolutely hated the way Barbie’s looked and how they portrayed the female image. As a Mum now myself to both a girl AND a boy, I understand just why my parents took issue with the bodies these dolls had, the style of clothes they wore and the professions, (who am I kidding, the hobbies) they had accessories for. I lamented the loss of these types of dolls in my kids lives as I had enjoyed playing with mine but I was resolute not to feed into the warped body imagery we see everywhere. Hurray then for Lottie Dolls which have come along just in time!

I had read articles about a lady in New Zealand up-cycling dolls to make them look like children rather than the unrealistic grown-ups they depict, but this was just one lady and her dolls were like gold dust to come by so I had lost hope. You can imagine how delighted I was then only a few weeks ago when I discover the company that make Lottie Dolls are based right here in the UK and they not only make a doll that looks like a normal eight year old but they make a whole range of them with different hair colours/styles AND a whole wonderful assortment of truly inspirational and fun outfits. At this point I am already actually bouncing as I discovered they also make a boy doll. Well I just about bumped my head on the ceiling!

Lottie kindly sent both Faye and Aiden a doll of their own and some fantastic accessories to go with them. I picked ones such as the football kit that could easily go on either the girl or boy doll as Aiden recently had started telling us things like women can’t be firefighters because he had never seen one in any of his books or shows. Obviously I can and do explain that that simply isn’t true but these dolls have been fantastic at illustrating the point (Lottie if you are reading this we would love you to design some emergency service outfits in your next lot. Thanks!) The dolls are of a great high quality as are their outfits and I can tell that we will be buying more accessories for both Faye and Aiden’s doll as they have been a hit with both.

Giveaway!

I am so excited to tell you all that the lovely people at Lottie were so happy to hear how much Faye and Aiden loved their dolls that they are giving our readers the chance to win their very own Stargazer Lottie doll just like Faye has. All you have to do to enter is pop over to the Rafflecopter competition site here and enter as many entries as possible for the highest chance of winning this fantastic doll.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Magformers My First Play 32 Set (£55)

One of my favourite type of toys for children to play with are versatile ones that promote open ended play and magnetic tiles are just that. I have been considering getting some for a long time now but knew there were both high and low quality products and that the one’s that looked better quality were also pretty expense so I put it off until Faye’s birthday. Now I can tell you I am very glad we went with the more expensive and higher quality make of Magformers because these things are absolutely fantastic.

Both Faye and Aiden are crazy about them. The bright colours are so attractive and Faye loves putting them together and snapping them apart. Aiden took to the two books that come with this starter kit like something else.  Once I explained how each page is setting you little challenges of things to build, well he was away. He loves seeing how the shapes put together can make a completely different shape and to name the shapes that make up the animals in the book. I think we will be needing to grow our hollering  as Aiden wants to build bigger and bigger structures and Faye seems hell bent on tearing them down! They are also absolutely perfect for playing in this glorious Summer sun with as you won’t loose or break them easy.

This particular set is marked as suitable for 18 months +, however, the pieces are perfectly safe for younger children as they are pretty much unbreakable, and even adults would struggle to break them, even with force.
This is one of the reasons why Magformers are more expensive than other similar or copycat toys. The ABS plastic used by them is unique and not found in any other toy. It is construction helmet grade and they have a 100% global safety record with Magformers. Also, the neodymium magnets used ensure connection is always strong and secure so these are long lasting toys. That’s lucky as I imagine my two will be playing with them in numerous forms for many many years to come.
Currently my readers can use the code SOCIAL1517 and this applies 15% off at checkout on the Magformers website!
Battat Sorter House from Halilit (rrp £25.99)
Of all the baby toys of Aiden’s we kept can you believe we didn’t have a sorter?! Now I knew from past experience of Aiden but also watching every other kid I have ever encountered, children love sorting! It teaches them so very much; shapes, colours, fine motor skills to name but a few and all through nice relaxed, play driven learning.
The Battat Sorter House is the crem de La crem of sorters as it features twelve different shapes to sort through holes in both the top and side of the house. Once you have sorted them the play does not stop as you have the additional bonus of having to match a set of keys to each individual door to get the shapes back out. Now the sorter is advertised suitable for 2+ and there is no way a one year old could use the key feature however this is why it worked perfectly as a toy for my two to play together. Faye does the sorting, with Aiden’s help (so very sweet to watch) and then Aiden unlocks all the doors to give Faye the shapes back and they start all over. Although a one year old can’t use the keys, they are safe for her to chew on, which she enjoyed very much too! Many hours have already been spent like this and making up games to play with the house/jail!
The plastic is good quality and whilst the colour scheme might not be to everyone’s taste (namely my sister!) I actually really like it as it is completely genderneutral and just that bit different from the norm/baby pastels. I got my sorter from the Halilit toy shop website because having already played with their fantastic range of children’s musical instruments for years, I trusted their selection of other fantastic toy brands.

Grimms Rainbow Stacker (£26)

I love wooden toys. They last longer, look great out on display, and are very tactile for kids. Aiden has a lot of wooden toys but no Grimms ones and no rainbow so after I saw him playing with one when we were out and about, I knew it would be a fun toy for opened ended play for both Aiden and Faye. Faye loves taking the rainbow apart and rebuilding it. Aiden was initially sceptical of using it for anything other than a rainbow but now uses the biggest arch as a goal for his Lottie doll to play football. These are an expensive item and whilst they are good quality, I think I’ll be trying to hunt down some cheaper second-hand ones if I want to expand the collection.

Hetty Sit n Ride (rrp £19.99)

This one was a bit of a chance buy. We weren’t actually looking for a ride-on as there is an old car one of Aiden’s in the garden so it hadn’t crossed my mind to buy Faye her own. However we were in a local kids charity shop called Kidzecho and Aiden was asking what he was getting Faye for her birthday so I said he could pick a toy for her and what do you know, he picked Hetty and home with us she came for the fab price of £4.99. She is really stable compared to other ride-ons I have seen, near enough impossible to tip infact. She is made of great quality plastic and no stickers so is long lasting (our other one is very faded hence being banished to the garden). She maybe doesn’t have all the bells and whistles as some others I have seen do, teaching you the alphabet and 12 languages etc but she does what she is supposed to and does it well. There is a lift up lid for a compartment under the seat to carry bits and bobs and Faye is loving hiding toys and moving them across the room on Hetty. I think Aiden picked pretty well!

Fisher Price Beatbo (rrp £39.99)

You see Beatbo EVERYWHERE! He wasn’t around when Aiden was a baby but since his launch he seems to be THE go to toy for babies. We know Fisher Price are a good quality toy maker but I wasn’t sure what to expect from this all singing all dancing robot. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t comfortable spending forty quid on a toy I wasn’t sure wouldn’t just be a gimmick and put to the side. Lyckily as there are so many of them in circulation, there are also plenty of them to be got second-hand. We picked ours up of Gumtree for £10 and I am so glad we did. Both Faye and Aiden dance along and wriggle about as Beatbo does. Aiden has figured out how to record his voice so Beatbo sings back “Faye smells” (charming I know!) and both kids giggle a lot when they play togher with him. He is great for encouraging movement and so far is proving to keep their attention.

Wow Toys Pippa’s Princess Carriage (rrp £19.99)

I stumbled across Wow toys by accident when a friend got Aiden a set when he was One. I was absolutely over the moon to discover that they didn’t require batteries as we had been going through them at an insane rate. Just like all the other Wow toys we have, I was impressed with the attention to detail in the Princess Pippa design, they do not look cheap and have lots of secret little features to keep the kids entertained and imagination alive. The quality of plastic is always also fantastic as it is very hard wearing. It would be hard to break a Wow toy and as the plastic is dyed rather than painted on, the designs don’t really fade or get chipped. A very cute fairy tale toy and one I know will make it through lots of playing which is a big thumbs up for us.

Books

Kid’s (and adults for that matter) can never ever ever have too many books. Never. Honestly, I could buy my two a book every single day and they would love it and not be disappointed that it was a book. Libraries are a wonderful thing to keep up with their thirst for knowledge (and to give you a bit more space at home!) but you really can’t beat having a great collection of your own books at home to treasure. We have so so many favourites that I could write a series of posts on them (and might very well do so keep and eye out for those) but for now I will just say, buy them a book(s) any chance you have. You won’t regret it. And if you are looking for some excellent children’s books that frequently have great deals on, I would suggest visiting Book and Pieces who have a 3 for £10 section (featuring all the Julia Donaldson books which are a firm favourite in this household, amongst other greats)

Also my readers can currently get 10% off all purchases from the Books and Pieces website by adding discount code ONEOFEACH10 at the checkout!  Go stock up on books! You will always use them 🙂

Nici Soft Toy Butterfly (£15 approx)

I bought this at the airport when trying to get rid of my remaining Euros so I don’t remember how much it cost. Oops. Nici toys are always good quality although a touch on the expensive side so I know this wasn’t cheap but more a special toy. The ‘hat’ part becomes a cocoon too which Aiden has had lots of fun showing Faye. Both my kids enjoy cuddling up to soft toys so whilst I don’t want a house full of them I do get them special ones on occasion and they always love them.

Tomy Eggs (rrp £6.99)

I had seen these at every playgroup and play date we have been too and yet we hadn’t played with them until visiting a friend recently. Both my 1 year old AND my 3 year old were fascinated by them so I knew they would be a hit for Faye’s birthday. The base of each egg is a different shape that corresponds to the same shaped hole in the container. The eggs are also different colours which you can match up to their shells and they squeak when you press the inside of them.  They are simple and durable and perfect for so many games.

ELC Fairy Garden (rrp £50)

This was another second-hand bargain I got off a Facebook selling page for a fiver! It might be designed for an older child but I couldn’t let a bargain like that go! Plus with no tiny parts it is actually safe for a wee one and once I added some Happy Land fairy figures, Faye was thrilled to make them stomp through fairy land knocking everything down over and over again. It is a slightly different take on a dolls house but the same principles apply and I imagine it will be great for imaginative role playing when Faye is a bit older. For now though, it will look great in her forest fairy themed bedroom when I do her room up and I have been having a LOT of fun setting it up every time Faye demolishes it!

Disclosure: We received some of these items for the purpose of review but all opinions are mine and truthful. Also they are all things that were always going to be on our list 🙂

Giveaway disclosure: All email addresses collected as part of the giveaway entry requirements will be passed to Lottie but they will not pass them on to any third party.

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82 thoughts on “First Birthday Gift Guide for Kids with a Slightly Older Sibling +GIVEAWAY”

  1. I can’t remember what my first doll was called but I remember loving that it’s eyes closed when I laid her down. I always really wanted a walking doll or a weeing one 😂

  2. I had a tiny tears doll called Sarah. I loved her, so much that I still have her, all wrapped up in her special blanket!

  3. I loved my baby born doll as you could feed her ‘real’ food she made real tears and pee on her potty xx

  4. Chatty Cathy ( I believe she was called), a doll which spoke when string pulled. I loved that she could say phrases.

  5. I had a doll with chocolate brown skin but I just called her Dolly. She was so different to all my other dolls.

  6. The only doll i had my nanna bought for me on a day trip, it was a nurse doll with long blonde hair lol …

  7. i lovde my pregnant barbie, she had twins 🙂 – probably why i have so many children!!! (due number 7 in December)

  8. I had a First Love Doll. I had a cot for her, a pram & every time my Mum made me a dress she made my doll a matching dress.

  9. I used to love the Garbage Pail Kids. It was so humorous having an alternative to the Cabbage Patch Kids.

  10. I had a huge doll about the size of a 2 year old that I named Lucy, bizarrely, I chose the name because I thought Lucy Ewing from Dallas was really pretty at the time……I don’t know what my mother was thinking letting me watch Dallas when I was about 6!

  11. My favourite doll as a child was a doll named Carol she was actually my mums doll handed down to me which made her extra special, I love her blonde curly hair and her chewed toes (My mums dog was the culprit) It made her unique and reminded us of the dog lol

  12. I had a doll who could walk if you walked holding her standing up and her name was Rosebud – unfortunately her leg fell off when I accidently dropped her through the banisters !

  13. I love Barbies, Sindys and Pippa dolls, but also Strawberry Shortcake dolls and my little girl is playing with them all now!

  14. I had quite a few dolls growing up (still do, in fact). A couple stand out to me. One was a cloth Holly Hobbe whose eyes opened and closed when you pulled on her pigtail braids. A bit odd, I know! The other was my first porcelain doll. She has a Victorian style purple dress and eyes that seem to follow you. My younger brother is still creeped out by her, and he’s now 31.

  15. I don’t remember being a fan of baby dolls, but I did have a Pippa doll that I quite liked. Got bored one day and cut her hair and then a chunk of my own. Mum wasn’t impressed!

  16. My favourite was a Pippa doll and I liked her because she was so small and I could make tiny clothes for her.

  17. My favourite figure was my Lion-O, the Thundercats character. I remember he came with a little red glove that covered his hand. The glove also fit perfectly on my finger, which I loved.

  18. My nan had a barbie at her house that I loved mainly because she came with a kitchen that had all the bits I loved it!

  19. My favourite doll had to be my amazing Amy doll as you could feed it pretend food and it was a bit interactive the doll too.

  20. My favourite doll was my Pocahontas doll. I thought she was very cool, she had a red tattoo (tribal mark I now know but as a kid it was a cool tattoo!) on her arm, and her pet was a raccoon, and her hair was long and jet black, and she never had to wear shoes!

  21. My favourite doll as a child was Katy Copy Cat because she came with her own desk and she copied whatever I drew or wrote!

  22. I really didnt have dolls as a child myself – I was the youngest of 4 and tended to play with my big brothers toys – my favourite was his star wars toys and especially his luke skywalker figure with light saber – i think the main attraction of them was that I wasnt supposed to play with them!!!

  23. I can’t remember what brand of doll it was but my parents bought me a black doll as being mixed raced and young I had started asking why none of the dolls/cartoons had people with brown skin like me. The doll I named Hilda after a character on Coronation Street. God knows why. The doll didn’t do anything but I was just happy to have a doll with curly hair like mine.

  24. I had Rosemary (named after my babysitter). She was 3 feet tall and if you held her hand she walked with you. Still have her somewhere in the loft.

  25. I had a tiny tears which I called Bumble (not quite sure why) I used to take her everywhere! I still have her, although she’s now in the loft with other childhood memories 🙂

  26. I don’t know what kind of doll it was but I received a lovely doll on my 3rd Christmas, she had brown hair, proper eyebrows, would turn her head when you squeezed her arm and she smelled of vanilla, very hi tech back in early 80’s x

  27. I had loads of Barbie dolls and (bizarrely) they were all named Barbie. I wasn’t a very good parent and they were all missing limbs or had lots of their hair cut off. My favourite one has long hair and I played with her most days.

  28. Mine was barbie! My mum got her and a gigantic play house and beach jeep for £6 at a carboot sale! Still the best bargain to this day!! I loved I could play House with no care in the world on how much bills were going to cost that month!

  29. I had a hand-me-down Barbie which had some very fancy silky underwear which I thought was the most sophisticated thing ever! Don’t think she had a name, though!

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